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Lonhala Magnair

Consensus Statement

GAPNA Consensus Statement: Need for Recognition of Specialized Care for Older Adults

A “silver tsunami” of older adults is here, bringing with it complicated health care needs and associated costs of care. Now more than ever, advanced practice nurses are needed who can anticipate, coordinate, and meet the demands of an aging population.

The Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association (GAPNA) recently released a new consensus statement, GAPNA Consensus Statement on Proficiencies for the APRN Gerontological Specialist. This essential document maintains that the current APRN Consensus Model, which blends the care of all adults and older adults, may not prepare APRNs sufficiently to care for geriatric patients with multiple, chronic, and complex conditions, or to address end-of-life care goals.

Nurses who specialize in the care of older adults are able to use their knowledge and experience to anticipate needs and deliver appropriate care, thus improving quality of life, reducing cost, and improving outcomes. This new consensus statement outlines 12 proficiencies that demonstrate gerontological specialist-level practice, which can be used to guide educational and consensus model pyramid certification standards in the future.

“The GAPNA Consensus Statement on Proficiencies for the APRN Gerontological Specialist is the culmination of a 3-year national effort to define and describe the expertise of APRNs caring for older adults. This document will be critical in the development of specialty recognition of the APRN Gerontological Specialist,” said GAPNA President Pamela Z. Cacchione, PhD, CRNP, BC, FAAN.

“This document provides a model for APRN specialty practice in the care of older adults and their families/carers,” said Deborah Dunn, EdD, MSN, GNP-BC, ACNS-BC, Chair of the Proficiencies for the APRN Gerontological Specialist Writing Group. “These proficiencies build on the APRN core and population-focused competencies for CNSs and NPs providing increased depth, breadth, and fluency in the application of geriatric-specific, evidenced-based practice to achieve quality health care for older adults. The intent is that these proficiencies be used to guide the development and recognition of APRN gerontological specialization.”

View and/or download the GAPNA Consensus Statement on Proficiencies for the APRN Gerontological Specialist.